A pit bull puppy in Warren, Ohio, that nearly died from lack of food and water, is expected to pull through, though he may be hobbled for life.
The dog’s owner, Tyree D. Kyle, pleaded not guilty to a charge of animal cruelty, a second-degree misdemeanor.
The 6- to 10-month old dog was discovered on Monday, August 8, when authorities visited Kyle’s home to serve eviction papers. They found the dog, Bubba, in a locked room, lying in feces and urine and seriously emaciated.
John Onatz, an animal control officer who examined the dog, reported that Buuba weighed 14 pounds, instead of the 30 or 40 pounds that would have been typical for a dog of that age. He had obviously been denied sustenance for a prolonged period. Ornatz called it one of the worst cases of animal abuse he'd seen in 28 years of service, adding that the fact the dog survived was a miracle.
At Kyle’s initial hearing on Friday, members of his family testified that the man has no job nor money to feed himself, let alone the puppy. But animal activists, who lined the courtroom, were unmoved.
Jennifer Bird of Furkid Rescue in Pittsburgh, who is currently caring for Bubba, said:
The dog was also full of hook works and whip worms. I'm surprised he's still living. My veterinarian actually said yesterday when he did a follow up visit that they were surprised they were even trying to save him when we went to the shelter, because of his condition. They figured he would have died.
Bird reports that Bubba is sleeping fitfully and is still weak and barely able to walk. A Pittsburgh veterinarian told her that the long-term effects of the neglect and abuse could mean that Bubba will never walk correctly again. The dog’s growth plates closed as a result of the malnourishment, which could cause his bones to grow crooked, preventing a normal gait.
Bird and other activists, who wore "Justice for Bubba" T-shirts at the hearing, are seeking a more stringent sentence for Kyle. States Bird:
This man is getting charged with an M-4 ]fourth grade misdemeanor, which is the sort of penalty assessed for spitting on the sidewalk]. We want to see that be an M-2. Instead of community service, we want this man to not be allowed to have a dog for five years, and we want to see him serve some jail time. 'We don't want him to pay a fine and do community service and get a slap on the wrist, not for what he's done. Animal abuse is happening in this area and we need stricter laws in Ohio. I want the community to be outraged and say enough is enough.
Kyle, is currently facing a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $750 fine. His next court date is August 25.
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